Cubs Better, But How Much Better?: I Dont Know Yet Hack Candidly Says; Answer Seems to Lie Mostly With Tall, Young Pitchers; Five New to Club This Year, Daily Racing Form, 1955-05-02


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Cubs Better, But How Much Better? I Dont Know Yet7 Hack Candidly Says Answer Seems to Lie Mostly With Tall, Young Pitchers; Five New to Club This Year By STEVE SNIDER United Press Sports Writer NEW YORK, N. Y., April 30.— The Chicago Cubs. are better, but how much better? "I dont know yet,* manager Stan Hack admits candidly and chances are he wont know next week, next month or even next year. The answer lies mostly with Hacks squad of young pitchers, who look more like high-jumpers than major league ball players. They average six feet, four inches tall. All new to the Cubs this year are Sam Jones, Vincente Amor, John Andre, Hy Cohen and Bob Thorpe. Jones, one-time Cleveland prospect, is the only one with previous major league experience. "Any one, or all of them could make it," said Hack, who measures opinions carefully as if to avoid exaggeration. Jones, of course, is almost a finished product. The Negro right-hander, obtained from Indianapolis at the suggestion of former Cleveland boss Bill Veeck, won two of his first three decisions, including a two-hitter over the Redlegs on April 24. But Thorpe, making a long jump from Class C to the Cubs, is the one they like to speak of most for the future. Has Real Pitching Poise "Look at liim," said coach ob Scheffing. "A 20-year-old kid with real pitching poise. He acts 10 years older once you give him the ball and tell him to start throwing." Its a long way to the big show from Class C Stockton, Calif., where Thorpe won 28 and lost only four last season. Still, he is one of the lads Hack believes can make it. "He was fine in spring training and vlooked good the few spots we put him so far," said Hack. "Hell make it some day, if not right away." Amor, a rangy Cuban, had on 18-11 record at Oklahoma City; Andre was 21-9 at Shrevepbrt and Cohen 16-6 at Des Moines. •» Theyre working some in relief when experienced pitchers like Bob Rush, Paul Min-ner, Warren Hacker, Harry Perkowski or Hal Jeffcoat need help. If the pitching comes up to the other improvements the Cubs have made,, the time may not be too far distant when the once-proud Bruins will be challenging again for pennants. They have a dandy second-base pair in Ernie "Bingo" Banks and Gene Baker, Dee --Fondy is hitting well at. first base and. Eddie Miksis the same at third base while filling in for Ransom Jackson, out with an infected hand. The current outfield is Hank Sauer, Lloyd Merriman and Frank Baum-holtz, with husky Harry Chiti catching. Sauer, a good hitter, got away slowly and that probably accounted for the fact the Cubs hardly could beat anyone except? Cincinnati in the early going. Five of their first seven victories were over the Redlegs. "We played Milwaukee close, but lost all three games," said Hack. "Two were by one run that a base hit or two could have won." But thats the way it is when youre trying to get out of the second division. The good clubs get the timely hits. Thats • why theyre good clubs. Not even Hack can hazard a guess when hell have a club in that class, but hes on his way.

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